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The Prime Minister should intervene to resolve the severe shortage of cooking oil in several states following the abject failure of Shafie Apdal to forestall the shortage with tighter enforcement against smuggling and earlier increase in production

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Press Conference

by Lim Guan Eng

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(Petaling Jaya, Monday): DAP is shocked at Bernama reports today that supply of Malaysian cooking oil is still easily available in Southern Thailand despite the severe shortage in several states such as Penang, Kelantan, Pahang, Malacca, Kedah, along with some parts of the Klang Valley. I have received angry complaints from Klang at the non-availability of cooking oil. How can the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal be so irresponsible as to allow cooking oil to be exported to a foreign country when Malaysians do not have enough supply?

It is ridiculous that foreigners have ample supply of Malaysian cooking oil that is not available to Malaysian consumers. If Shafie is incapable of defending national interest and fulfill his basic duty as a Minister to ensure adequate supply of basic commodities such as cooking oil to consumers, he might as well resign or be reassigned to another Ministry. DAP calls on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to intervene to resolve the severe shortage of cooking oil in several states following the abject failure of Shafie to forestall the shortage with earlier directives to cooking oil manufacturers to increase production and tighter enforcement against smuggling. Are Ministry officials and Shafie sleeping?

Malaysians are still puzzled how Malaysia can face a severe shortage of palm oil when we are the largest producer and exporter in the world with 14.4 million tonnes of palm oil exported in 2006, just over 50 per cent of the global trade in oils and fats. Such failure is inexcusable when the government had already imposed a Cooking Oil Subsidy Scheme (COSS) upon oil palm plantation owners to subsidise cooking oil manufacturers in the country in the production of cooking oil at affordable prices.

Plantation Industry and Commodities Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui had announced last year that the government would collect RM 855 million from oil palm planters as cess under the COSS to stabilize the price and ensure the adequate supply of cooking oil to consumers. Why has happened to the RM 855 million that should be available to cooking oil manufacturers to prevent a severe shortage?

Stern action must be taken against those responsible for this cooking oil shortage that has not only caused inconvenience, hardship but also losses to consumers and businessmen. Otherwise the shortage will only worsen during the coming festive Chinese New Year season next month.

Every individual can make a difference to help Malaysia change and move forward to fulfill the Merdeka promise of political equality, equal economic opportunity and social economic justice- Foo Yueh Chuan appointed as DAP the 12th General Elections National Campaign Director

There is a need for change in the Malaysian politics after 50 years of failed policies that have failed to deliver the Merdeka promise of national unity, enjoy freedom and fundamental rights and allow every one an equal share in our country economic prosperity and development.

We need to turn a new page for the next 50 years to fulfill the Merdeka promise of political equality, equal economic opportunities and socio-economic justice. We should be ashamed that Malaysia suffers the worst income inequality between the rich and poor in South-East Asia with the richest 20% of the population garnering 51.2% of our nationís income with the poorest 40% only getting 13.5% of the nationís income. Despite statistics showing the average monthly household income in 2004 is RM 3,249, this doesn not reflect the true picture that the richest 10% of the population earns 22 times the average income of the poorest 10%.

Malaysians should dare to believe that every individual can make a difference to help Malaysia change and move forward to fulfill this Merdeka promise. We need a leadership centered on moral values that believes in justice, respects the people whether women or minorities, listens to the truth, upholds rule of law and fights corruption

Ms Foo Yueh Chuan has been appointed as DAP 12th General Elections National Campaign Director. Ms Foo is a well-qualified party activist endowed with a string of qualifications. Well-versed in three languages, she is an honours graduate from Universiti Sains Malaysia, a qualified lawyer and a masters degree holder from the prestigious London School of Economics.

Ms Fooís duties will encompass:-

1. co-ordinating all the various departments in the party machinery including Organisation, Publicity and Financial bureaus;
2. overseeing and combining the methods of conventional or traditional campaign with internet campaigns.
3. assisting in the formulation of strategy and responsible for the tactical implementation of the campaign plan.
4. effective communication of the partyís message to the public.

 

(07/01/2008)


* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

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